Learning How to Be Successful

Vonna Murdock is a senior at IUPUI and is graduating this May with a degree in exercise science. She joined DEAP when she was new to campus four years ago. Since then, she has held a plethora of leadership positions, opportunities that she was able to take advantage of due to her involvement with DEAP.

"Several of the experiences that are now on my resume I learned about through DEAP. I don't think I would be able to say that I was an OTEAM member or health and wellness mentor if I hadn't joined the program," says Murdock. Preparation for those kinds of roles was also something she took advantage of regularly. She explains, "Having a peer mentor helped me learn how to be successful, and it also helped me stay on track with my goals."

Murdock says that DEAP's mentor program had a huge impact on her, so much that she became one herself. "I touched so many students' lives as a peer mentor, and it was one of the first leadership positions I had on campus that made me feel important. It was a great feeling to think that I was making an impact and helping fellow students," she says.

Having a peer mentor helped me learn how to be successful, and it also helped me stay on track with my goals.

Vonna Murdock

Outside of the professional benefits of DEAP, one of Murdock's favorite things about being a member is the sensation of having a campus family to support her. She says, "I've endured different struggles while attending college, but I was never alone because of the family I found in DEAP. They've helped me up in situations where I felt lost, from losing a close relative to becoming a mother during my senior year."

Combining that support with the professional skills she's gained in the program, Murdock feels prepared for her next steps after graduating this May, which include working as an arrhythmia technician at Riley Children's Hospital and attending graduate school to obtain a doctoral degree in physical therapy.

Murdock explains, "It's been a difficult journey, but students and staff of DEAP have kept believing in me through it all. Because of that, I've learned how to believe in myself."